Here is a summary of what we know about plans for road adoption and restricting on-street parking in East Wichel.
Roads will only be adopted by Swindon Borough Council once construction work has finished – otherwise council tax payers would end up picking up the bill for roads damaged by construction traffic. Large housing developments are usually planned so the order in which plots are developed allows construction traffic to be kept separated from construction traffic. But government subsidies to the building industry after the banking crisis resulted in plots in East Wichel being built in a different order from originally planned. So construction traffic and residents have had to share the same roads.
Some roads have been made up ready for adoption, where a developer has finished all their plots. For example Aviemore Road in the area built by Bloor Homes and Leaze Street in the area built by David Wilson Homes. Even in those areas roads that might still used for construction traffic have not been made up. It is likely that many roads will remain in a rough state until Taylor Wimpey are ready to handover the estate roads to the council at the end of their development. At current slow rate of building that will not be soon.
Once they have adopted the roads, Swindon Borough Council intend to enforce a Restricted Parking Zone. The planning restrictions for the Wichelstowe development include measures to reduce the use of private vehicles. Everybody buying a house in East Wichel should have been made aware by their conveyancer and the house builder of the following Wichelstowe Parking Statement [PDF] from Swindon Borough Council. Unfortunately it is rather heavy on town planning jargon. In summary, once the council is confident there will be no further changes to the exact details of where the developers will build each house, they will consult with residents and apply to government to enforce parking restrictions. There will be spaces for visitors to park in lay-bys on the streets. Parking will only be allowed in those marked bays and residents’ own designated parking spaces (usually behind their houses in East Wichel).
Wichelstowe Parking Statement
The Outline Planning Consent for Wichelstowe includes a sustainable transport network. The creation of modal shift from private vehicles to public transport, walking and cycling is integral to the network.
In order to achieve modal shift the designers introduced a combination of reduced road widths and Restricted Parking Zones. These measures have been accepted as best practice in delivering sustainable developments.
Residential roads have been designed with reduced widths to prevent on-street parking. The roads need to be kept clear of cars to maintain easy access for residents, refuse vehicles and most importantly emergency vehicles. In order to maintain safe and efficient access a Restricted Parking Zone will be introduced.
A Restricted Parking Zone introduces uniform restriction on parking at anytime throughout the area except in marked bays. Wichelstowe will have three Zones one for each of the distinct communities. The first Zone will be set up in East Wichel.
A Restricted Parking Zone requires approval from the Department for Transport and is subject to public consultation. The Local Highway Authority can only seek approval from the Department for Transport by submitting plans showing the position of every sign. Until such time as all the reserved matters approval are given for all the development parcels within East Wichel, the Local Highway Authority cannot fully develop this plan. Until the location of all front doors and windows are known it cannot be determined where the signs will need to be placed.
It is anticipated that all reserved matters applications in East Wichel will be completed in the next six months and the Local Highway Authority will be able to progress the Restricted Parking Zone. At such time as the Department for Transport has approved these plans the Local Highway Authority will distribute to all housebuilders to pass on to potential purchasers and existing residents.
It is important that all residents and prospective purchasers are aware of the need to introduce parking restrictions and the affect this will have on the levels of parking availability.
In addition to private parking provided with the dwelling, there will be 1000 visitors parking bays provided throughout the development in the form of on street lay-bys and visitor bays within the mews. Any parking outside of marked bays will results in a penalty charge notice.
That notice was written in May 2010, and both the granting of planning permissions and building have taken much longer than expected in the statement. As recently as the Community Association meeting in January the council restated their intention to consult on and introduce parking restrictions ‘in due course’.